Chinese & Korean Words

Asian loan words in English

by Ann-Marie Imbornoni
Amoy (eastern China)
pekoe, a type of tea.
tea, originally pronounced like "tay," can be traced to Dutch thee, from Malay and Amoy.
Cantonese (southern China, Hong Kong)
bok choy, meaning "white vegetable."
chop chop, means "hurried."
chop suey, from a word meaning "miscellaneous bits."
chow, related to chop in chop suey, from a word meaning "food, miscellany."
chow chow, means "doggie."
ketchup, from a word meaning "tomato sauce."
kumquat, a small citrus fruit.
typhoon, from the words for "great wind."
wok, meaning "cauldron."
yen, meaning a "yearning" or "strong desire."
Mandarin (Beijing, China; official national standard)
gung ho, a motto used by the Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society, from words meaning "work together." It was picked up by U.S. Marines during World War II.
kow-tow, from words meaning "to knock [one's] head."
kung fu, from gong fu, meaning "skill, art."
Korean
tae kwon do, meaning "trample-fist-way."

Asian Loan Words


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